tv [untitled] September 21, 2010 7:00pm-7:30pm PST
the sanctuary city. in addition, on tuesday, november 17 of this month, we are going to be having a forum on issues affecting -- immigration issues affecting l.g.t. immigrants and same-sex bye national couples not being together. we are going to talk about the h.i.v. ban being lifted but cases previously departmented. the one-year deadline for asylum and also the treatment of lgtb danica patrick's. we hope you can come to the forum. it is going to be at 25 venice, sweet 800, november 17 at 5:30. thank you. >> thank you. next speaker. >> hello. good evening, commissioners. my name is lupe.
i work with the human rights commission as well. thank you for putting this together. this is a great symposium and a great place to be able to share a lot of the different views and work going on. one of the things i wanted to quickly talk about was regarding the sanctuary ordinance. there has been a lot of talk about a sanctuary ordinance. it has been in the news and a national debate. we want to remind you what it is about. first of all, the sanctuary ordinance was created back in 1989. it just had its 20-year anniversary. the human rights commission is named as the enforcement agency in the sanctuary ordinance. what that means is that no city employee or no city resources can go towards helping ice or referring anybody to ice or disclosing any information to ice. it was meant to give people
equal access to services, equal access to the city without any fear of retribution, any fear of retaliation, any fear of having their status being basically disclosed, and being deported for wanting to get health care. so it is a really important thing for us to remember that as we are thinking about comprehensive immigration reform, that we also continue to strengthen and defend sanctuary ordinance not just here in san francisco, where it has been under a lot of pressure and discussion and a lot of debate, bull also all over the country, because other cities also have a sanctuary ordinance. again, it is not about -- the way that the current dialogue that is been happening, a lot is about crime. it is actually about insuring that everybody has equal access and equal process in san
francisco. so we want to put that out there and remind people that is what it is about, and we are definitely here to be able to hear any questions and again to continue strengthening and defending the sanctuary ordinance. my colleague is going to talk always more about the complaint process that people can use to file a complaint regarding a sanctuary city violation. >> thank you. if i may, i just want to read more cards, and if you would, line up to speak. once again, forgive me if i am mispronouncing a name. janine. lapeta. thank you. carl. julie so -- soux. bart murphy.
guadaloupe, and manava. forgive me if i am pronouncing these names wrong. line up, and you have two minutes. next speaker. >> thank you. good evening, everyone. i am from the human rights commission, and we are happy to say that we are taking all complaints and reworking santh city issues right now. so if you have any issues, either have been discriminated against or know someone who has an issue about the city of san francisco not respecting the sanctuary ordinance, come to us. we can take complaints there by phone, e-mail or mail, whatever is easiest for you. i am going to leave some forms over there, so if anyone wants to talk to us about problems, they can do it.
also, they can visit our website. just a few things about it. we respect your confidentiality status, which means i am not going to ask you whether you are current or not. we are not even going to ask you about your name if you don't want to give it. it is a completely confidential process. it is going to be only about trying to investigate possible abuse and try to discuss with the city department about the actual situation. we are working for all san francisco residents, and we are working with city or county democrats. that means we cannot help with any ice issues or with federal authorities. but if you know someone who are have had an issue about sanctuary city, please come to us.
we are here to help you. >> thank you. next speaker, please. >> my name is lupe, and i speak spanish as my primary language, but i am a citizen. i appreciate from this commission that there is an interpreter. i think as a spanish-speaking person, as a mexican and american, what i would like from this commission for me to really respect you, and for me and thousands of other immigrants, but i am going to speak for the spanish-speaking community, for us to feel that you are really here, and you mean what you say, it is beyond interpretation and intention. it is engagement, but it is also to stand up. i am going to give you a couple of examples. the new police chief just passed a law that if you don't
have a driver's license, which is one of the main issues for latino undocumented people, that they are going to give you 20 minutes, they will take your car and pay a fee. but they are going to take your car. you are going to go into another debt for $1,000. you can say we support this. put an ad in the chronicle or announce it. that is one. the one, the chronicle and other english papers, i think because they have new reporters that don't understand the context of immigration and the complexities, they go on and on stererotyping latinos unfairly and unwarranted. i would like this commission to call them or send a letter. that is what i think a lot of the spanish speaking people want from you to feel that you are there. and the last thing i want to
say, and i want to say this with a lot of respect. and i do respect this commission. i so appreciate all of your testimony, but i am going to cry, and so too with my other meap friend because we didn't see any many testimony. hundreds of thousands of mexicans have been affected by these laws. mexicans, and others are affected. they are from latin america. representation is so key. that doesn't invalidate any of your stories. on the contrary, it makes us unified. whether it was logistics, or whether no mexican was available or whatever, but they are not here. so i really -- but again, i do appreciate your work. i think it is time for you go
the next step. i appreciate the panel issue. thank you very much. >> thank you for your comments. next speaker. >> good evening honorable chair person and members of the board. my name is carl cruz, i am with the american immigration lawyers and the national lawyers guild. i want to shed some light and go further than due process deprivation and explain what it is we are looking at in terms of the proposals we saw in 2007 and 2008. evans involved in some minor lobbying efforts. we need to take all this in keeping with what the office could be. on the one hand, we might get comprehensive immigration reform. on the other hand, we might get nothing at all.
i know no one wants to consider this possibility, but what does san francisco do if we don't get comprehensive immigration reform? now, on the immigration reform side, there were proposals in twheb and 2008 to do things that -- and i am only able to summarize in my short time i have, lower the threshold of proof for a foreign national to be deported respect force a foreign national to make a choice between waiving their right to appeal or taking voluntary deportation. to expand the categories to which the reason to believe standard applies. the reason to believe standard turns the constitutional standard of reasonable doubt on its head. so expansion of that category is kind of the biggest prejudice or discrimination you could ever put into law.
as of now it only aplays to two categories. one, terrorism, and two, controlled substance terrificers. so to expand that category is a real alienation, and i do intend the play on words. and then the very real threat of the foreclosure of appeal. what i mean when i say that, right now, especially in the ninth circuit, we have a favorable circuit court of appeals. and what congress has chosen to do in 2007 and 2008 is propose a structure by which the ninth would be split into the ninth and a new circuit court of appeals. >> i have to ask you to finish. thank you. you can finish your statement if you can and then your time is up. >> very good. the last issue you may wish to consider is appeals would
otherwise be considered under another proposal, all to go to the d.c. circuit court of appeals, which has no specialization in immigration. thank you for your time. >> thank you for your comments. next speaker, please? >> geeping, commissioners. my name is bar tholmue murphy. i am the chairman for the year national immigration reform. that brings an irish voice to the immigration reform bedate. as other speakers here, the irish are in real terms a minority in this debate. there are approximately 50,000 undocumented irish throughout the united states. but we are a very vocal minority, and i thought i would share with you some of the things that has worked for us
in lobbying on this issue. and to my colleagues who are here tonight on their issues, there is no substitute for direct lobbying of officials on this. do not leave it to the mayor or even this commission tonight to lobby on your behalf. take it up and go after it yourselves. one of the wolf things about american politics, whether you are legal, illegal, in status or out of status, you can walk through the doors of federal government, and knock on those doors, and find someone to talk to, and if you try hard enough, you will get to the cossak person or senate person sooner or later. we have brought on several occasion 2,000 irish undocumented to washington, d.c., held a holiday on the
hill, and marched through the corridors on capitol hill, and we made our way there. that is what needs to be done. to my friend here tonight from scotland, i would urge him to get him to press the matter with the british government. many of the undocumented from ireland are from northern ireland. they are both irish citizens and u.k. citizens. we have tried to engage the u.k. government in pressing for this, and they have had no interest. there are thousands of undocumented citizens of the united kingdom in america, and the united kingdom government has no interest. i would urge you to press that. there are bilateral trade agreements and millions of people working. press the slew. one final point, i would challenge the bill. at would price do we have comprehensive immigration reform. i would ask the question at
what price can we not have it? >> so you would give them all the bad stuff just to get the good things? >> no, i wouldn't. but i'm reminded of what voltere said, which is let not the perfect be the enemy of the good. by holding out for the perfect, there are 12 million in a bad way in this country. >> what is the difference between imperfect and the atrocious. >> i would ask you to not let the perfect outway the we. thank you for having this commission tonight. someone once said that what leads evil to triumph over good is that good men do nothing. i think you for doing something good and not letting the evil win by sitting down and doing nothing. thank you. >> thank you.
i will probably get in trouble for letting you talk a bit longer. that was not designed by intent. forgive me. at this point we would like to -- there was one other card here. there is a nina? i apologize. i was going to close comment. thank you. if there is any other speakers who would like to speak who haven't given a card, line up there. otherwise, i will be closing public comment after nina. >> thank you for having me. i was born and raised in san francisco. my mother is actually an immigration consultant. i think growing up here, it was very aparent a, how much more vibrant this community because of the immigrants who are here. i graduated from laurel high school, which is the school where the majority of students are students of color.
apart from my caucasian friend, i don't think a single one of my friends came from a non-immigrant family. the other thing growing up in this climate is how polarizing the issue is. it seems like there has been a battle between people who are pro immigration and people who are anti-immigration. but i think, especially seeing all the faces here, just putting faces on this issue makes it so there aren't two sides to this people, that there are two grooms of people opposed to each other. somewhere down the line, all of us came here at some point, except the native americans. but yeah, i think like my mom said, just getting our voice out there, really are part of the same society, and i think our society has faced a real moral crisis where we have
family values that are opposed to what our policies and laws say, and we are splitting up families. i have friends who were born here and don't speak a word of spanish and could be deported and couldn't communicate with anyone. i think putting these faces out there and showing people that immigrants are a vibrant part of civic life, that that is a really important thing for the cause. thanks. >> thank you for your comments. they are duly noted. commissioners, we are coming to close here. are there commissioners who would like to make any comments? ok. commissioner? >> first of all, i want to thank everyone who is here tonight. i want to thank the centers. but i especially want to take time to thank the people from the immigrant rights movement who are here tonight and who
are not here tonight for other reasons. i think that san francisco -- anybody who has been here in san francisco for the past six months or year, we have seen a huge battle to really defend what we have won in the past 20 years around sanctuary city. i was glad to hear testimonies from were tonight, and i think that this commission has played a very important role in passing the change around the indictlement. this commission held a hearing with hundreds of people who came to give testimony. nothing that happens in the city, nothing that happens in the country happens because somebody wakes up one day and makes it happen. it happens because every day people organize and push for it to happen.
this commission exists because of organizing of people. and like they have said, it is important for us as commissions, and i myself commit to going out in the community and really talking about it. a symposium doesn't happen in a room like this. real change happens when we go out and talk to people. a lot of people can speak with their own voice around their own issue. i am committed to them, and as a commission i hope we can work to make that happen. this is a beginning, and i have gotten a lot of good information. to have representatives from congressional offices here is important. i want to say thank you to every one of you, and i want to recognize the san francisco immigrant rights movement for their work. thank you very much. >> thank you, commissioners. i want to rhyme my commissioners -- want to remind
my commissioners that we are restricted on time. >> my comments are usually short. i have a question for bill, who has scared me to death. after we hear all this, and he sounds like the problems are worse in washington. but are there any things positive you found in washington that have happened? >> there's a new president. [laughter] >> there are -- the enforcement priorities have changed somewhat. there are the voices of progressive immigrant rights folks are being heard. what you heard me articulate earlier is my best judgment of who is getting the better of that arm wrestling, unfortunately. but yeah, i mean there are good proposals floating out there in terms of backlog production, in
terms of restraining ice, in terms of potentially different types of visas that are more fluid. i wish i could say i was confident in that. i fear the worst because of what we are witnessing on health care reform. >> thank you. >> welcome to the commission. thank you for joining us this evening. this is his first commission hearing. >> i actually also had a question. we have heard a lot about sort of economics and family reunification. but i think there is the long-standing tra transition of framing immigration law. i think that has been absent
from this conversation, and i was wondering if there is anything you can offer about current political ideologies affecting immigration reform. >> you can go first. >> all right. i think that 9/11 was a watershed in immigration generallyly because we were at a moment where it seemed like there was some real consensus in moving forward on immigration reform. after that congress really went in the opposite direction, focusing on really keeping people out of the country. dan said this at the beginning of the evening that we have seen in the last eight years a mindset that is -- somehow or other that immigration is a negative and that our country is better off when we are tightly restricting who comes
in. i think that there is movement away from that. i think there has been a lot more work in energy, and a growing group of new citizens, naturalized and voting, who are changing that dynamic. but we're fighting the remnants of that every day. and i think the fact that. gration has been used as sort of a substitute for a -- immigration has been used as a sort of substitute for things that people are upset about, and it becomes easier to kick the immigrant. we see that with the restrictionists and the hate movement. those are the kind of things we are fighting against. some of that sells politically. the challenge is, as cindy was
saying, in other parts of the country, really getting people to see that being against immigration is being against america, and that we have to reframe the analysis that way so that people can't hide behind it and use that as their basis for bad votes and sort of running away from the issue. >> thank you. once department, thank you, panelists. >> i will make my comments. when i heard bat, for me it was good because it was like a recharging of the batteries. i needed that because i had been drinking the kool aid of the bad stuff out there and believing maybe there was no hope. but like most of you, i do believe there will be. i remember bart's story, that
when we did go back to washington, the irish group. and we walked right back out. it told me that democracy is alive and well. after the kennedy-mccain bill failed, it disappointed me because i thought we were really close. we didn't just have an immigration problem, but we also had a public relations problem, and he talked about that this evening. you have touched on it so many times. that is our strongest ammunition here in our arsenal. we have to get our own lou dobbs on the air, and we have to get him educating the people on the pluses and how immigrants are the backbone of this country. i am going to close out the
hearing. this concludes tonight's symposium. on behalf of my fellow commissioners, we thank you for coming here. i would like to thank our assemblyman, the staff, the san francisco board of supervisors, david chew, our speaker and our panelists, our partners and collaborators, and most of all to the members of the audience and immigrant communities who are represented for which we exist, thank you for coming here this evening. we have learned a lot and are well educated for going forward. please look for a written report on these proceedings by the end of the meeting. also we look forward to a report on april 13, 2009 of the joint hearing with the human rights commission by the end of the year. thank you all for coming here